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Within Sight of the White House [Overlay of Hooker’s Division]
|| 12/9/2007 || 2:30 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

[image links to .kmz file]
Google Earth Screen Shot of the Antique Overlay

One of the maps I recently downloaded was from a newspaper clipping showing the area near the White House. With 50 Saloons and 109 Bawdy-Houses the map was drawn to highlight business owners who were paying Federal taxes but not DC taxes. Of importance is how nearly all but four of the business owners were female. Were they not paying taxes because they were disenfranchised? Women’s suffrage didn’t come for another 30 years with the passage of the 19th Amendment. By taking the map and importing it into Google Earth, I was able to arrange it so that the buildings line up with minimal distortion. It’s not a perfect map, but it is truly an interesting glimpse into downtown Washington, DC in the 1890’s.

Today most of the buildings are all gone. There are some exceptions, like City Hall (Central Powerhouse) and the Old Post Office, which is written as the “New Post Office” on the map. In the place of the 109 Bawdy-Houses and 50 Saloons was the creation of Federal Triangle. Ohio Ave- gone, DC’s entertainment center, gone as well. Later built, on the year of my birth, was Freedom Plaza which was designed to look like L’Enfant’s map no less. By adjusting the antique map’s transparency you can see a approximately 117 years of development. From brothel to federal, what a strange entity time is.



Section of Washington, D.C., Known as “Hooker’s Division,” Which Contains 50 Saloons and 109 Bawdy-Houses
— List of 61 Places Where Liquor Is Sold With Government But Without City Licenses.

1. Willard’s Hotel
2. Randall Hotel
3. Grand Opera House
4. Central Power House (Entire Block)
5. Brass Works
6. Bethany Chapel
7. Gov’t Eng. House
8. Planning Mill
9. Evening Star
10. New Post Office (Entire Block)
11. Times
12. Variety Theater

[light shading] – Bagnios
[dark shading] – Saloons

The territory indicated by the accompanying diagram is in Washington, D. C., and is known as “Hooker’s Division.” During the the Civil War it was occupied by the camp of General Joe Hooker’s troops in their defense of Washington. Since then it has become the plague spot of Washington, a center of vice, liquor selling, and prostitution, such as is characteristic of all High-License cities. It is in the very heart of the city, extending along Pennsylvania avenue to the United States treasury. The four daily papers of the cit, Post, Star, Times, and News, are published in this territory. Within its borders are the leading banks, opera-houses, and hotels.

This district alone contains 109 regular houses of prostitution, exclusive of assignation-houses, 31 of which are in the single block surrounded by C, D, 13th, and 13 1/2 streets northwest. Besides this there are an even 50 saloons, most of them run directly in connection with bawdy-houses.

Each one of these 109 houses of prostitution sells liquors opening and freely every day, and not a single on pays the $400 local license. There are 61 bawdy-houses in the district which hold Federal permits, while the other 48 pay no license whatever. They no only defy every provision of the High-License law, but they refuse to pay the Government license as well.

Grover Cleveland can sit in his bedroom window at the White House and survey this entire territory. He is within sight and gunshot of each of these 109 dens which defy the laws which he is supposed to execute through his commissioners. The following is a list of 61 persons in this district and their addresses who are selling liquor under Federal permits and who do not pay the $400 High-License.

Kate Anderson, 1431 D, N.W.; Mrs. May Albert, 300 1th; Ray Astor, 406 13th, N.W.; Ida Bronson, 217 10th N.W.; Kate W. Brown, 1208 D; Lulu Burke, 214 11th; Mrs. K. T. Crowley, 313 13th; Nannie Coles, 1207 C; Alice Curry, 1215 C; Sarah Carter, 325 13th; Maud Conant, 305 13 1/2; Sarah Chesley, 311 13th; Emma Coleman, 309 13th; Maud Duval, 404 13th; Ida Drury, 1222 D, N.W.; Bessie Edmoudson, 310 13th; Grace Emerson, 1353 Ohio; Grace Furguson, 1309 C; May Fitzgerald; Willie Gilmore, 401 13th; Cora Graham, 401 15th, removed to 1428 C street; Mary Gray, 326 13th, N.W.; Daisy Grey, 321 13th; Annie Hester, 1317 D; Mabel Haynes, 1307 C; Fannie Hill, 314 13 1/2, N.W.; May Roward, 1222 C, N.W.; Jennie Javins, 1225 C. N.W.; Lizzie Jones, 1106 C, N.W.; Kate Lott, 1209 C; Josie Jong, 1315 D, N.W.; Nellie Larue 412 13th; Alice Linden, 312 13th; Mary Milovich, 1313 C; Edith Bertha May, 1304 D; Gertie Peterson, 1357 Ohio; Lou Roberts, 301 13 1/2; Ellen Reynolds, 307 13th; Belle Saville, 1213 C; Gussie Smith, 1214 C; Blanche Mc Coy, 1310 D, N.W.; Ella Monroe, 1433 D, N.W.; Victoria McClellan. 1355 Ohio; Rosie Moore 116 C; Anna Murphy, 1219 C; Dora L. Marion, 326 13, N.W.; Ida Nightingale, 322 12 1/2; Bell Norris, 1424 C. N.W.; Lena Ordway, 1223 D; Lizzie Peterson 1309 D.; Sadie Street, 1226 D; Blanche Snow, 114 C; Miss H. Stewert, 328 13th; Bertie Stokes, 301 13th; Mellie Terner, 305 13th; Minnie Thompson, 1217 C.; Lottie Tilford, 212 11th; Josie Westm 1220 C; Nellie Wallace; 1311 C; Eva White, 306 13th.

[Washington? : s.n., 189-?]

Cadastral map.
Newspaper clipping.
[more on land use maps]

Courtesy of the Geography & Mapping Division of the Library of Congress

Related Google Earth:

Related Antique:

Post Title: Within Sight of the White House [Overlay of Hooker’s Division]
Post Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in: Antique, Architectural Archeology, DC, Federal Triangle, Google Earth, history, Interactive, Library of Congress, Location, Ward2, White House
Last edited by Nikolas Schiller on 10/2/2009 at 7:42 am

  1. Someone who actually knows who L’Enfant was. I am intrigued.

    Comment by Daniel — 12/10/2007 @ 4:37 pm

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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